First let's consider width wise: You want a bag that has an inside circumference of at least 10" wider than you measure at your widest point (for example, men might measure around their shoulders). Watch this video if needed: Determining what sleeping bag will best fit you.
For a comfortable length, you want a bag that is taller than you are. First, find the dimensions of the bag on the box. Give yourself a few extra inches of room that will allow you to scoot down into the bag when it's cold outside, or move away from the bottom and unzip the bag for ventilation when it's warm.
Our bags come with a stain-resistant outer layer, so they probably won't need frequent cleaning. When they do get dirty, spot clean by wiping with a damp, warm cloth. For best results, don't saturate the bag. Allow to air dry, and don't fold or stuff until fabric is completely dry. Don't put sleeping bags in a washing machine or dryer, as this may damage zippers, reduce warmth, and void your warranty. Do not take the bag to a commercial dry cleaner. If your bag gets heavy use, consider purchasing the TETON Sports washable sleeping bag liner.
If you absolutely have to wash your sleeping bag, learn how do so without harming the bag, the fill, or your washer here.
Always put a potential bed wetter in a junior-size sleeping bag, not an adult bag. If the worst happens, you can take the smaller bag to a commercial washing machine, whereas an adult bag just won't fit. Be sure to air dry thoroughly before you store the bag.
Do NOT ever put a sleeping bag in a residential washing machine, no matter how big the machine and no matter how persuasive the advertisements were that convinced you to buy that machine in the first place. Even children's sleeping bags are too large. The zippers will catch in the machine, and the bag will be ruined. Even with a large commercial washer, this is a significant risk, but obviously if you have a urine spot, it's a risk you may have to take. Some people have had success hand-washing small sleeping bags. Remember that anytime you put a sleeping bag in a washing machine, you've pretty well voided the warranty. Did we already mention that children do best in smaller, less-expensive bags? TETON Sports carries a great children's bag. Also learn how to hand wash a sleeping bag without doing harm to the bag, fill, or washer here.
Storing any sleeping bag rolled up can reduce the amount of loft and eventually collapse or reduce the fill. However, TETON Sports bags are made with high-quality synthetic polyester fill that is designed to take a pretty good beating without sacrificing warmth. So if you have to compress your bags to store them, don't sweat it.
If you want to really extend the life of your bag and ensure maximum warmth as long as possible, don't store the bag in the compression sack. Instead, drape it over a chair or a railing, lay it flat, or fold/roll it loosely like a blanket and set it on a shelf with nothing heavy on top of it. The bags all come with mesh hanging loops sewn in to one end to help with loose storage.
Sleeping bag temperature ratings can be misleading. When manufacturers tell you a bag is rated for -10°, we mean that it will keep you alive at a temperature down to -10°. We don't mean you'll be comfortable. You won't. You will be cold. But you'll be alive.
Temperature ratings are really survival ratings. For comfort, most people need a sleeping bag rated about 20° to 25° colder than the expected nighttime temperature on their camping trip. If you are expecting zero degree nights, then buy a -20° to -25° sleeping bag.
The fabric layer between the bag and the hood is called a shoulder baffle, and it is one of many features TETON Sports bags include to increase warmth. To use the shoulder baffle, get in the bag and pull the drawstring to comfortably tighten the fabric around your neck. This will minimize air leaks while you sleep.
TETON Sports bags also have zipper baffles, which are extra layers of fabric and fill that run the whole length of the zipper teeth to keep tiny drafts of cold air out of the bag. In addition, we use offset stitching, which means that no single row of stitching goes all the way from the outside of the bag to the inside. Stitching for the outside layers of fabric is offset by several inches from stitching for the inside layers of fabric. This means that the fill is never completely compressed in any one spot, increasing overall warmth.
You shouldn't have to freeze your tail off every night just to go camping. First, understand that staying warm in a sleeping bag is all about heating the air in the bag, and then trapping that heated air inside the bag as long as possible. When your sleeping bag is directly on the ground, you mash the air out of the bag's fill and you let a lot of cold come in from underneath you. The first suggestion is to sleep with a pad under your sleeping bag, not simply a plastic ground cloth.
Do what you can to warm your body before you get in the bag. Twenty jumping jacks before you hop in the bag may keep you warm hours longer, because your body will better warm the air in the bag. Once you're in the bag, strip off all non-essential clothes so your body heat can be used to warm air, not clothing. And of course, don't sleep with wet clothes.
Use the shoulder baffle included on all TETON Sports sleeping bags to cinch around your neck and trap the warm air in all night. Buy a wide enough bag of the right temperature rating so you can leave the side fully zipped all night long. Also, if you eat right before bedtime, your body temperature may drop slightly while you metabolize, and you could suffer all night as a result.We also some great tips for staying warm on our Adventure Hub:
- How your sleeping bag keeps you warm
- How to stay warm in colder temperatures
A bag with no hood is easy to zip together. You completely unzip it, place another identical bag on top, and zip all around the U-shape. However, most TETON Sports bags that zip together come equipped with hoods and shoulder baffles for greater comfort, making zipping together a bit more complex. Once you get the hang of it, it's pretty quick, but try it in the daylight the first time, when you're not already freezing and tired.
Step 1: Make sure you have a left- zip bag and a right- zip bag. That way both hoods will end up on the ground, and one person in the bag won't get a face full of sleeping bag hood while the back of the head sits on cold ground.
Step 2: Make sure your bags are in the same series. For example, a Celsius XL and an Elk Hunter won't zip together. See the next question for a list of compatible bags.
Step 3: Place the right-zip bag on the ground to the left of the other sleeping bag. Yes, you read that right. The right-zip bag goes on the left (if you were lying on your back facing up) of the double bag.
Step 4: Unzip the right-zip bag completely and separate the zipper. Both pull tabs of the zipper will be on the sky side of the sleeping bag. The metal tab at the end of the zipper will be on the ground side.
Step 5: Unzip the left-side bag completely and separate the zipper. On this bag, both pull tabs will be on the ground side, while the metal tab will be on the sky side.
Step 6: Zip the underneath zipper (closest to the ground), starting at the bottom.
Step 7: Zip the top zipper (closest to the sky), starting at the bottom. Your double sleeping bag should now be snug and tight and ready for sharing.
Step 8: Don't be surprised if, when two bags are zipped together, the zippers don't fully align at the top. This is common with all brands of sleeping bags when zippers from different production runs are zipped together. A small variation in teeth spacing can add up to a couple of inches when fully zipped. If this happens, just stretch the velcro tabs from one bag to the other to keep the zippers in place.
Here is a video: How to zip two TETON Sports sleeping bags together
To zip together, sleeping bags must be the same length, with identical zippers. Color doesn't affect compatibility.
Celsius Bags can zip to other Celsius bags of the same length and temperature rating, regardless of color. For example, any XL Celsius 0ºF can zip to any other Celsius 0ºF XL or XXL Celsius 0ºF. However, a Celsius Regular can't zip to an XXL. Celsius Regular and Celsius Regular for Women will zip together because they are both regular length and temperature.
Mammoth Bags have zippers on both sides, allowing you to fasten as many bags together as you want. All Mammoths zip to all other Mammoths regardless of temperature rating or color.
Deer Hunter and Elk Hunter Sleeping Bags are only compatible with each other if they are the same temperature rating.
Remember that you need a right-zip and a left-zip in order to hook bags together properly. See the left-zip/right-zip question if you need help figuring out which zip you have.
The simple answer is, just stuff the bag in the sack. It will fit. But there are a few tricks:
Fold bag in half lengthwise before you start, but do not roll it. Rolling adds bulk.
Start with the foot end of bag so you don't trap air in the bag while you stuff.
As you put the bag in the sack, turn the sack slightly after each stuff. This helps the sack fill up evenly.
When you get the whole bag stuffed in, pull the drawstring to keep it closed and tuck the round protective flap into the hole so no part of bag is exposed.
To fit your bag in a very small space, tighten down the side straps, one strap at a time to further compact it. NOTE: Extreme compression is fine for a single trip when you're trying to make space in your pack, but do not store your bag for long periods fully compressed in this manner as you may damage the fill and reduce warmth.
Here are a couple videos to help:
Video: How to stuff a normal sleeping bag into the compression sack
Video: How to stuff a Mammoth sleeping bag into the compression sack